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This day in sports: Wise-cracking Lee Trevino wins 1968 U.S. Open

Lee Trevino reacts as his putt on the 11th hole drops for a birdie in final round of the 1968 U.S. Open.
(Associated Press)

Wise-cracking Lee Trevino, a grade-school dropout from El Paso, Texas, won his first professional golf tournament on this date in 1968 when he became the first golfer to play all four rounds of the U.S. Open under par, and for good measure beat Jack Nicklaus by four strokes at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, N.Y.

Trevino’s rounds of 69, 68, 69 and 69 were five-under par 275 for 72 holes. Nicklaus, who finished at 279, said his final round was the finest he had shot in a U.S. Open. Bert Yancey, who led after three rounds, finished third after he fell apart with a six-over par 76 in the final round.

Enjoying the moment afterward in the press room, Trevino said, “No, I didn’t call my wife. She saw me on TV. She knows I won. I should get the [$30,000] check to her by Wednesday. If I don’t, she’ll call me.”

This week, the Dodgers were scheduled to play the Arizona Diamondbacks in the second of four games on what would have been “Cody Bellinger T-Shirt” day at Dodger Stadium. The Angels were set to play the Athletics in the second of three games at Oakland. Both contests were postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Other memorable games and outstanding sports performances on this date:

1951 — Ben Hogan wins the U.S. Open for the second straight year when he fires a 67 that gives him a two-stroke comeback victory over Clayton Heafner at Oakland Hills Country Club in Birmingham, Mich. It is Hogan’s seventh major championship, and afterward he calls the round the best one he has played.

1957 — Relief pitcher Dixie Howell hits two home runs in the 3 2/3 innings he pitches to lead the Chicago White Sox to an 8-6 victory in the second game of a doubleheader against the Washington Senators at Comiskey Park. One of the blasts lands in the upper deck, and he is the last relief pitcher to hit two home runs in a game.

1974 — Hale Irwin beats Forrest Fezler by two strokes to win the U.S. Open at Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, N.Y. In what is called “The Massacre at Winged Foot,” no player breaks par in the first round and Irwin’s winning total of seven-over par is the highest since 1963. Tom Watson leads by one stroke in the final round, but Watson drops six shots on the back nine. Irwin bogeys Nos. 15 and 16 but is able to hold off Fezler.

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1993 — Michael Jordan scores 55 points to lead the Chicago Bulls to a 111-105 victory and a 3-1 advantage over the Phoenix Suns in the NBA Finals. Jordan is the fifth player to reach 50 in the Finals and the first since Jerry West’s 53 against Boston in 1969. Charles Barkley scores 32 for the Suns. The Bulls would go on to win the series in six games.

1998 — The Detroit Red Wings become the first team to win consecutive Stanley Cup championships since Pittsburgh did it in 1992 when the Wings complete a sweep of the Washington Capitals with a 4-1 at the MCI Center in Washington. Doug Brown scores two goals for Detroit, whose sweep is the fourth straight in the Stanley Cup Final, a first in major pro sports. Steve Yzerman is named most valuable player after he tallies 24 points in the postseason.

1999 — Maurice Greene smashes the 100-meter dash world record in 9.79 seconds at a meet in Athens, Greece, breaking the previous mark of 9.84 held by Donovan Bailey of Canada, who set it at the 1996 Summer Olympics. Ato Boldon is second in 9.86. Boldon has the lead until 60 meters when Greene eases past him and into the lead.

2012 — Ervin Santana pitches a one-hitter to lead the Angels to 2-0 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks at Angel Stadium. Santana retires the first 20 batters before he allows a two-out single to Justin Upton in the seventh inning. Upton and pinch-hitter Miguel Montero, who draws a ninth-inning walk, are the only Diamondbacks to reach base.

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2013 — Justin Rose wins his first major championship and is the first Englishman since Tony Jacklin in 1970 to take the U.S. Open, shooting a closing 70 at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa., for a one-over par 281 total and a two-shot victory over Jason Day and Phil Mickelson, who finishes second for a record sixth time.

2013 — Greg Biffle gives Ford a milestone victory with his second straight NASCAR Sprint Cup series win at Michigan International Speedway. It’s the 1,000th victory for Ford Motor Co. racing across NASCAR’s three national series — Cup, Nationwide and Truck. Biffle holds off Kevin Harvick after points leader Jimmie Johnson has tire trouble and hits the wall with three laps to go.

Sources: The Times, Associated Press


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